Tablets, Smartphones To Spur Even More Growth

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If you don’t own a tablet or smartphone by now, chances are you will by the end of the year. Driven by the explosive growth in mobile technologies, the Consumer Electronics Association is projecting overall revenues for the consumer electronics sector to reach a record $209.6 billion in 2013, up 3% from 2012’s $204 billion.

Tablets and smartphones will continue to grab consumers’ attention. The CEA predicts tablet sales will hit 116 million units this year, up 45% from the 80 million units sold in 2012. (The tablet category alone will generate $37 billion in revenues, up from $31 billion in 2012, according to the CEA.) Along those same lines, smartphones will also continue their advance, with unit sales reaching 130 million this year, up from 111 million in 2012. Smartphone category revenues will pass $37 billion, up from $33 billion in 2012. Overall, tablets and smartphones will account for 36% of the total CE industry revenues in 2013, according to Steve Koenig, the CEA’s director of industry analysis.

“Revenue growth for these combined categories in 2013 is projected to be 16% as prices decline and unit growth slows,” Koenig tells Marketing Daily. “We talk about cannibalization coming from these categories and the growing revenue share illustrates this effect.” 

In other categories, unit sales and revenues for LCD televisions are projected to increase, with shipments to dealers reaching a record-high 30.4 million, producing nearly $15 billion in revenue. Sales of TVs with 3D functionality are expected to increase 39%, with sales of more than 5.7 million units. Internet connected displays will also increase nearly 30%, with more than 12 million projected unit sales. To enhance performance of these TVs, soundbar shipments are projected to increase 22% and network-enabled, set-top boxes are expected to hit 7.4 million units, a gain of 13%.

“Having upgraded their TVs, consumers are starting to come around to enhancing their audio for a more immersive entertainment experience,” Koenig says. “The soundbar is enjoying success for two reasons: form factor and price. [They are] much easier solution than discrete channel audio and most are $299 or less. The soundbar has been a savior to audio and a great margin booster for retailers selling TVs.”

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